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Jackfruit Ropa Vieja [Vegan]

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This dish has jackfruit that is cooked until browned and then added to a flavor-packed pan of sofrito, onion, celery, carrots and peppers. It all simmers in a savory tomato sauce and salty olives. It’s not only delicious but it’s a colorful dish that is as fun to look at as it is to eat.

Jackfruit Ropa Vieja [Vegan]

This Recipe is :

Dairy Free Vegan




  • 2-20 oz. cans of jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • ½ cup sofrito
  • 8-10 stuffed pimento olives (alcaparrado or other green olives)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs. vegan, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 medium stalks celery, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced, mix colors if possible
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • Fresh parsley for garnish


  1. First, prepare the jackfruit. After rinsing them in water to get rid of the salty brine, dry the jackfruit pieces in a clean towel. Using a paring knife, cut the triangular core out of each piece of jackfruit. Slice the cores into small pieces. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the jackfruit and season with pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and thyme. Cook about 10-15 minutes until they are browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the sofrito, olives, and cumin to the pan. Let cook until fragrant. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and peppers to the pan. Allow them to cook about 10 minutes, or until they start to soften. Stir in the diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and water. Add the bay leaves. Let cook for about 4 minutes until the sauce begins to bubble.
  3. Return the jackfruit to the pan and stir to coat them in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer on low heat about 20 minutes until the jackfruit are tender and have taken on the flavors of the sauce.
  4. Remove the jackfruit again and shred with 2 forks or slice them as thinly as possible, if desired. Return them to the pan again. Season the ropa vieja with salt, to taste. Bring it to a simmer, about 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender and the jackfruit is heated through. Stir in the frozen peas and heat through. Remove the bay leaves. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with rice, quinoa, or plantains.





When Rhea became vegan, there were no places in her Bronx neighborhood to eat so she had to learn to cook, mostly by watching TV cooking shows, especially Christina Pirello and Rachael Ray.  That led to the creation of The "V" Word website which focuses on vegan versions of favorite, familiar foods. Rhea has written several e-cookbooks which are available on her web site. It is Rhea's hope that she can spread the "V" Word to bring more compassion into the world and it is her dream to become the vegan Rachael Ray.



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